Touchdowns Score for ALS

Reprinted from PN January 2010

Buffalo Bills quarterback Trent Edwards launched a program that will help people with ALS and their families each time he leads his team to a touchdown

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In honor of his well-known high-school coach Charlie Wedemeyer, who has the progressive, neurodegenerative disease ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, Buffalo Bills quarterback Trent Edwards launched a program that will help people with ALS and their families each time he leads his team to a touchdown.

“Trent’s Touchdowns for ALS,” which began on October 11 when the Buffalo Bills played the Cleveland Browns, has two objectives: raise money for The ALS Association by encouraging fans and corporations to pledge a minimum amount of money for a minimum number of touchdowns, and raise awareness about the disease.

“We’re counting on Trent to have his best season yet and that the Buffalo Bills go to the Super Bowl,” says Jane H. Gilbert, association president and CEO. “We would like to see Trent lead the Buffalo Bills to as many touchdowns as possible so The ALS Association can intercept and put an end to this deadly disease.”

The monies raised support numerous free services and programs provided to people with Lou Gehrig’s disease and to their families.

“I’m pleased to partner with The ALS Association and to be part of the efforts that improve quality of life for individuals and families coping with ALS, while creating awareness and supporting research for a cure,” Edwards says.

Edwards’s passion for helping fight ALS stems from his personal connection with the disease. While attending Los Gatos High School in California, he played for Wedemeyer, who was diagnosed with ALS in 1977 and continues to coach today. His life story was chronicled in the PBS documentary “One More Season” and the movie Quiet Victory: The Charlie Wedemeyer Story.

Fans and corporations that decide to participate in the program during the season are eligible to receive prizes, based on the level of giving. Fans and corporations who make a $250 minimum gift will be invited to attend a celebration hosted by Edwards and his sister Shelby in December at the headquarters of Greatbatch, Inc., in Clarence, N.Y. Greatbatch, Inc., is the presenting sponsor of “Trent’s Touchdowns for ALS.”

“This program demonstrates Trent Edwards’s commitment to his community and specifically to the fight against ALS,” says Katharine Loomis, executive director, Upstate New York Chapter of The Association. “Each touchdown scored when Trent Edwards is in the game will help the Buffalo Bills have a successful season and give hope to people living with ALS.”

The levels of giving for “Trent’s Touchdowns for ALS” are $10 per touchdown ($100 minimum gift), $25 per touchdown ($250 minimum gift), and $50 per touchdown ($500 minimum gift). To sign up for “Trent’s Touchdowns for ALS,” call the chapter toll-free at 866-499-7257 or visit

ALS causes the progressive death of the motor nerve cells that operate muscles, robbing the brain of its ability to initiate and control movement. Approximately 30,000 Americans have the disease, for which there is no effective treatment or cure, and can expect to survive on average two to five years from the time of diagnosis. While the disease strikes people regardless of their age, race, or gender, military veterans are approximately twice as likely to develop ALS as those with no history of military service.

The ALS Association is the only nonprofit organization fighting Lou Gehrig’s Disease on every front. By leading the way in global research, providing assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through certified clinical care centers, and fostering government partnerships, The Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure.


Kathryn Tarquin, Greatbatch, 716-759-5540 / 574-5859 (cell) 

Andy Major, Buffalo Bills, Inc., 716- 312-8624 

The ALS Association Upstate New York Chapter, Katharine Loomis, executive director, 315-413-0121


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